It’s a conversation

Angry cat

This can be really difficult.

You need to talk to people. A lot. Have conversations with your audience; understand them and their values. Learn their needs and interests.

This is challenging advice to give to an introvert – networking can be a frightening concept – however your success as a musician will depend entirely on your ability to form and sustain deep, lasting and intimate relationships with other people. And your songs will form the basis for these relationships.

Yep. Scary.

But it’s not insurmountable. Discuss your music openly with your audience: What do they like about your music? Why? What does it remind them of? How does it make them feel? Why do they prefer a particular song? As well as discussing your music, talk to them about music in general. What other music do they like? Who is their favourite artist at the moment? What’s their favourite album? How do they discover new music? How do they like to receive music? How often do they listen to music? Where do they listen to music? Do they enjoy sharing music? How do they share music? Understanding the answers to these kinds of questions is critical to your future music success.

These conversations will provide valuable insight into the tastes, preferences and sensitivities of your core audience.

Of course, don’t interrogate your fans at your next gig. Remember, these are conversations, not job interviews. There will be many times when the responses you get are incomplete or unsatisfactory. It’s common for people to be unable to tell you exactly why they like your music or anyone else’s. Most people experience music as an intangible art form. It’s your job as the artist to translate between the abstract world of emotions and the concrete world of chords, melodies and lyrics.